The Personality of A Pastor

This article has been getting some internet buzz. 

A famous megachurch pastor decides to step down from his post because he is not sure what he believes in anymore. He wants to move on to explore God (or whatever he now believes in) beyond the bounds of traditional Christianity.

As the article points out, this pastor is not exactly striking out into new ground: by ceasing to be a classic evangelical and becoming just another “spiritual but not religious” dude bro he is becoming more, not less, conventional. He is becoming entirely mainstream, safe, and boring.

The argument in the comments section however revolves around whether or not the pastor did the right thing in publicly resigning. Some say it is wrong, others say it is honest and the right thing to do.

I ask this: what on earth would possess a person to share his deep dark secret struggles of faith in front of thousands of people, if not millions thanks to social media? Who takes his intimate struggles and airs them out on YouTube when a simple notice that he is stepping down for personal reasons would suffice?

A narcissist, that’s who.

Narcissism seems to be a recurring flaw among members of the clergy. Being Catholic, I prefer my clergy hidden behind screens, and though I’ve no desire to return to the Tridentine, I do think Mass celebrated ad populum has proven to be a terrible idea since it forces a priest to be a performer, and turns the people into an audience.

Clergy who seek the public eye and live their dramas in the spotlight are always on the verge of a flameout. The media will notice the hip, controversial young pastor, or the priest who challenges the authority of his bishop, and celebrate them in a man-bites-dog sort of way. The controversial young pastor’s wife will then catch him screwing the youth-group leader, and he will have to retire and get a job selling insurance to pay alimony. The priest challenging his bishop will push the conflict until as the ultimate act of rebellion he resigns from the priesthood – and then he is just another Irish blowhard teaching at the community college.

Then their real lives begin. Maybe it is God’s way of saving their souls: drama queens and attention whores do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

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